9 Cheap But Chic Ideas to Refresh Your Tired Bathroom

Today we’re tackling your bathroom. Although they sometimes feel like the least inspired room in the house, with few design opportunities, that really isn’t the case. Since bathrooms are often the smallest rooms, any little update can instantly freshen it up. Here are nine easy, budget ideas for creating your own bathroom retreat.

The easiest way to “organize” everything is to put it on a tray, which visually creates a unified vignette that makes everything look more put together and polished. Try an accent color to broaden the bathroom’s color palette, or a pattern like a python one like the one above in Kristin Cadwallader’s home. Pro tip from Emily Henderson: Avoid wood tray on marble countertops to prevent stains.

Want more budget ideas to refresh the rest of your home?

Design is in the details, and Bri of Design Love Fest never lets a decorating opportunity slip by. She and Natalie designed four toilet paper holders inspired by various hotels. Is this excessive? Maybe. But honestly I hate the cheap, metal veneered spring-loaded option and this is a fun, cheap way to add a special little touch. The one above was inspired by the Ace Hotel Palm Springs.

The most budget friendly idea of all—bring in furniture you already have! Bathrooms don’t always have to be standard vanities and towel bars. Everything about Cami’s sun drenched bathroom is supremely serene, but easy to replicate. Get the same vibe by repurposing an armoire for towel storage, wire baskets for corralling toilet paper, and a stool for bath-side books or candles.

The bathroom is the perfect spot to play with color because it can be easily switched over if you change your mind. For example, a bright blue hue might be overwhelming (and time consuming!) on all your kitchen cabinets, but looks right at home on this vanity from Black Lacquer Design. A quick hardware switch is another quickly way to update a vanity.

Mirrors can be expensive to replace. Check out our previous post, ‘11 Budget Ways You Can Upgrade Your Mirror‘ to work with what you’ve got for a dramatic weekend project. Above, Lauren of a Blesser House dry brushed black mineral paint to give her formerly white mirror a little contrast, which added a nice depth and texture.

Don’t let your design ideas be cramped by small spaces. Katie from Little House of Four makes her narrow half bath seem larger by drawing eyes up with a large print and shelf. Installing bracket shelves takes less than an hour and gives you another area to style.

(Image credit: Sara Tramp)

Textiles help soften up the harder surfaces of countertops and tubs, but that doesn’t mean they have to be boring. Second only to your shower curtain, bath mats are the largest textile in the bathroom. Hit reset and refresh the space with an unexpected choice. Above, Emily Henderson uses a large, cotton area rug from Target’s Project 62 line, for maximum comfort. Just be sure to get a rug thin enough to dry out between uses and light enough to wash.

What do you guys prefer: towel bars or towel hooks? I love the ease of towel hooks and the seemingly endless style choices, like these DIY wood hooks from The Merry Thought. With just a piece of wood, a few cuts, and water resistant finish, these beauties look straight out of a design catalog.

If the thought of hanging art in a humid room makes you shudder, let your shower curtain be your stand-in mural. This one is from Urban Outfitters, but there are tons that can fit the bill. This option is perfect for renters who can’t paint but want more color! Have a piece of fabric you love? You can also sew a shower curtain with a few straight stitches, then add grommets, for a completely unique piece.

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